Matthew 16:18-19 (MSG)
Jesus came back, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out. And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.”
When babies are small, they are fascinated by keys. The jingle and jangle making lots of noise. They can grasp them in chubby little hands and play with them for hours. Becoming toddlers and on the move, they take those same keys and begin to see where they will fit. Hence the invention of the plug protectors that keep them from jamming keys and other small objects into electric sockets. My baby is twelve and I still find them around the house from time to time. Children grow into teenagers and those same set of keys take on a whole new meaning as they learn to operate an automobile. Holding them longingly in the same hand no longer small and chubby but now fully developed, they prepare for the responsibility of driving a car. Maturing moving into adulthood, keys are no longer fascinating but now a sign of responsibility. They represent our home, work and life in general. My key ring has a car key that represents the mode of transportation purchased that must now be maintained. It holds a house key that represents our home and mortgage. It has a key to my office that lets me into work each day. It has a key to my brother’s home where I stay when I had to take care of our son battling cancer. (I can finally give that one back – PRAISE THE LORD!) Finally, it holds a key to my mother-in-law’s house who is aging and is beginning to require extra care. Keys represent responsibility.
Have you ever looked at an overloaded key change trying to remember what all those extra keys before? We recently traded in our old clunker for a new-to-us car. As I was trading one key for the other, I noticed that there was some extra floaters on the keyring that I could not remember what they went to so I began trying them in different doors in the house discarding those with no purpose. I am happy to say that for the first time in a long time, I know what each key fits and its use…for now.
“You will have complete and free access to God’s Kingdom, keys to open every door!” What does that mean? No more barriers between Heaven and earth. How do I get this keys? You have them as a believer who has called on Jesus Christ to be your Savior. What can I do with them? It is our job to find out.
Matthew 19:13-15 (NLT)
One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.
Before we are born in the midst of creation, God wrote a story on our heart. It was the plan and purpose for our life that would motivate our desires for fulfillment. Our life is filled with breathes, steps and choices that lead to the cultivation of all our dreams hidden deep inside our being for self-discovery. Part of this makeup and design leads us to God, where we meet His Son, Jesus Christ. Once calling on the Lord to save us of our sins and become our Lord (or leader) in our life, now we are destined for the fulfillment that is all part of God’s Plan for us. We are empowered to succeed in that moment never making a single change. Like children, these keys are given to us before we have the understanding, knowledge or insight to use them correctly so naturally we begin trying to make them fit into the parameters of our life. We ask the Lord to do what we want, change what we cannot and fix all that we have broken.
Adolescent Christians like teenagers begin to realize that these same keys toyed with actually will take them somewhere so they begin to study the Drivers Handbook preparing to get their Learners Permit and then the actual Drivers Exam. They have a goal and they begin to work to have it. They purpose in their heart to meet all the state requirements to drive because they want to go somewhere. Suddenly the same keys they played with have new meaning and use in their life. They see freedom in the days ahead windows rolled down, music blaring without a care in the world except making curfew. Those days are short lived when it comes time to enter adulthood. Now the same keys begin to represent certain responsibilities in life. Gone are the days when mom and dad took care of everything – freedom has a price. Maturity makes a different as to how we view the keys in our life both naturally and spiritually. We all have keys to the Kingdom of God as believers. We do not have to wait to pay for them or be promoted to a higher position to obtain them. They were paid for in full and granted by the Blood of Jesus Christ. The question is are we using them…all of them.
Psalm 103:1-5 (MSG)
O my soul, bless God. From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name! O my soul, bless God, don’t forget a single blessing! He forgives your sins—every one. He heals your diseases—every one. He redeems you from hell—saves your life! He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown. He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal. He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.
My brother and sister-in-law graciously gave us a set of keys to use when we were in town taking care of our son, visiting doctors as they live in the same town. They have an open door policy that whenever I had to come to stay I could stay with them. What a huge blessing! Not only did it save us financially not to have to book hotels for each visit, but it also allowed me to walk through some pretty dark times sleeping in grandfather’s bed surrounded by family. I cannot remember why our whole family was in town or what was happening with our son, but for some reason when my husband got to my brother’s house – they were not there. The girls had to all use the restroom. Everything was chaos as I texted my sister-in-law. She replied, “You have a key to the house!” I had completely forgotten about it as on most visits they are home and I don’t have to use my key to get in.
How many times do we forget the blessings of God promised for our life? How often do we hold the keys to His Kingdom within us but never use them in our life? The Lord forgives all our sins even the ones we cannot forgive of ourselves. This key is called Grace. He heals every single disease using the key called Mercy. He redeems our life with the key called Hope. He crowns us with love and mercy lifting us high above our circumstances with the key called Redemption and the other called Restoration. He wraps us in His Goodness. The key marked Blessing opens every storehouse that bears our name. He renews us with the key to His Presence. By faith, we take these keys and use them to unlock every self-imposed door and barrier between us and the life that God has promised us. Jesus paid every toll, penalty, and price associated with the freedom to enjoy a supernatural existence in the midst of what seems to be an ordinary life. We must only have enough faith to pick them up and use them. We must trust Him that what is behind each door is more than we could think to ask for enough to leave the past behind. We must follow Him in constant curiosity, wonder and awe as He leads us from Glory to Glory.
James 1:23-25 (MSG)
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.
If Jesus has set you free, you are free indeed. (John 8:36) Any limitation on life is self-imposed. Think about that for a minute, if I am not living a satisfied life – it is my own fault. When we asked Jesus to be our Savior and Lord, He gave us His Spirit. Wherever the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17) Living in the midst of such revelation empowers us with the Keys to the Kingdom but most of the time, people remain spiritual babies who play with keys rather than using them. The mature enough to be child-like but never move beyond using them here and there without real purpose. Or perhaps like teenagers, they have an agenda to fulfill their own purpose so they focus on one thing rather than stepping into the Fullness of Christ we have by using our faith to open every single barrier between us and what the Lord has for us. I will let you in on a secret. The things of God are with God. You cannot have them without moving closer. We must assume the responsibility of faith in using our keys effectively to change the atmosphere of our life. We become the Light of the Word wrapped in the Light of His Love. People see the difference and want what we have. Using the Keys to the Kingdom effectively will open the doors and windows of our life to let His Glory pour out and spill over into the lives of others.
If you are frustrated today, maybe you just forgot your keys so instead you have been pulling and pushing doors that only faith can open. It is human nature to try to do it ourselves so the Lord provides mercy each day for a brand new start. Faith is the key that unlocks the overflow of mercy that was left for us. His Grace is always sufficient for us. His Goodness and Unfailing Love is pursuing us banging on the door begging us to open it and let His Glory flood our life. Don’t let fear be a barrier. Perfect Love will overcome every fear you will ever head. Just move closer. Try every key. Read the Word of God and let Him instruct you have to use them. Do not stop until you know what every single key on that Kingdom ring will do in your life. Release the Purpose and Power God has hidden in His Presence for your life today.
Proverbs 4:10-13 (NLT)
My child, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life. I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths. When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble. Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.